Back from Break: A Difficult Week

It’s a Monday and the first day back from spring break. Bad combination. Oh, and as one of my friends so kindly reminded me, we are back to cafeteria food (which isn’t necessarily bad, just not the same as home).

I have been told that I should try and look at things in a positive light. You know, glass-half-full type of stuff.

I plan to try that. You know, just as soon as my allergy medicine kicks in (that I took 5 hours ago) and stops this pounding in my head….

On a different tangent, there are only five weeks left of school! Then I can go home and have a chill summer. I can hang out with friends and read. I will also be selling lottery tickets and car washes at my gas station. Fun stuff.

I’ll just imagine my summer instead of my classes and homework. Or I could just accept that I have a glass and I don’t feel like promoting the fact that it is half full or half empty….

Learning and Circumstances

As I grow older (and taller), I learn. I learn new things from books, teachers, my friends. I learn new things about being book smart and street smart.

I also learn about growing up, about being older. I’ve learned that while I’ve wanted to grow up for a long time, it isn’t a very normal process. It isn’t like school where you know how you are doing and what grades you are getting. It isn’t like reading a book and knowing just how many pages you have left. It’s about much more than that, much more than I would’ve guessed.

It’s about everything; people, issues, places, ideas, the unseen. It is about questioning your beliefs, everything you’ve ever known.

It’s about looking at your past, what has shaped you and decide what you think about it all. It is about seeing other people and their circumstances and finding something similar to your own because there is always something. It is about realizing that choices aren’t just random, the past plays into them. Current circumstances play into them.

Growing up is so much more than I was expecting. It is hard. It takes time and thought, good and bad choices. Maybe a few choices that are in that grey area.

And yet, as I write this, trying to put the idea of growing up and getting older into palpable form, I know I am missing things. I know there is always more to learn, always some more growing to do (although I’d rather it be in mentality and not height at this point).

I suppose that is the biggest lesson of all: I may have started the process, but there isn’t necessarily an end.

WWMD/WWDD and Teenagers

I like using the question, “What would Jesus Do?” when  I am in a tough spot and have to make a decision. This question can be really helpful as long as I know the right example or verse from the Bible to apply to my situation. Sometimes I do, and other (most) times I have no idea what Jesus or one of his followers would do in a similar or parallel situation.

At this point, I switch it to “What Would Mom/Dad do?” My parents are both people I want to grow up and be like. They are great Christian examples and I probably use WWDD/WWMD a lot more than they think. Sometimes it is subconscious, but I definitely follow their example more than their words.

After reading this, I would think parents are thinking something to the effect of, “That is really sweet but then why did my kid do this? What about that other situation?

I’ll give an example: Teenagers are often known to dye their hair and get tattoos/piercings.

Parents often don’t understand this. At all. Parents wonder why their kids would do all these crazy things to their body.

The angle parents should consider is thus: Sometimes the changes kids make to their appearance are reflective of the changes going on inside of them. Changes such as the fact that they are losing some of the childishness, going through puberty, trying to fit in, making important decisions.

So while teenagers are going through these changes inside them and noticing inevitable ones around them, they may need a way to express themselves. They may need a way to get across to the world that everything is not the same as it used to be.

These changes are probably making the children more like their parents.

So it is possible, in a more potent situation, that a tattoo can mean a child is just one step closer to becoming like their parent. Maybe that piercing means that the child is becoming older. Probably that new hair color is just one of the ways teens are expressing themselves.

All the while, when these changes are being made, the teenagers just might be thinking, “What would my parents do?”

Time, Balance, and Life

Time is both limited and infinite in college. Limited when it is the night before a big test and decisions must be made on whether to study or socialize, to sleep or pick out the best outfit. Limited is time when one has to choose between watching a movie and working out. Infinite is time when the calendar pages will not flip the weeks before a visit home. Infinite when the test is over and the homework finished and the laundry done. Is time really the same length every day and every moment? It seems not even if the clock belies the feeling.

Finding the balance during that time between work and fun is key. Finding balance between boring textbooks and exciting events. Balance is something not struck as quickly as seconds on a clock and is certainly not as continuous. The search for balance is infinite. Balance is only found for a while before it slips away like the limited hours on the clock.

Time is a big part of life. Life is both time and balance. Life is how one balances time.